AUSA Hosts 6th Operation Deploy Your Dress Event

AUSA Hosts 6th Operation Deploy Your Dress Event

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Photo by: AUSA

More than 1,000 cocktail dresses and formal gowns will be featured May 7 at a free pop-up event hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army and Operation Deploy Your Dress.

Teaming up for the sixth annual Operation Deploy Your Dress D.C., volunteers from the two organizations will welcome all military or dependent ID card holders at AUSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

A special advance time slot for AUSA Premium members will begin at 8 a.m.

There will be eight other time slots throughout the day, with the last one beginning at 4 p.m. Each time slot will last 45 minutes, with 15 minutes in between each slot for refreshing the donated new and gently used dresses.

Participants will receive two dresses and one accessory, and they will be able to try on the dresses in a fitting room. For those who might be a little shy, a separate fitting room will be available.

All participants also will receive a complimentary AUSA Basic membership, with the option to upgrade to a Premium membership and get access to AUSA scholarships, a copy of The Army Spouse Handbook, and other benefits.

The popular event and the dresses are free, but registration for a “shopping” time slot is required.

For more information and to register, click here.

To register for the AUSA members-only time slot, click here.

Operation Deploy Your Dress was founded in late 2015 at Fort Bliss, Texas, when a group of military spouses organized a dress swap to lessen the cost of formal wear for holiday balls. The idea quickly grew into an organization run by dozens of volunteers, offering gently used dresses and accessories to military members and dependents.

The group now has 12 shops across the U.S. and one in Germany, according to its website.

AUSA last hosted a D.C. pop-up event in April 2022, giving away more than 670 dresses. AUSA and Operation Deploy Your Dress have worked together since 2017, including during AUSA’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.

In the past six years, Operation Deploy Your Dress has given away more than 16,500 gowns, saving military families $1.6 million, according to its website.

“Together, AUSA and Operation Deploy Your Dress continue to support our military families through our pop-up events, AUSA chapter events and shop grand openings,” said Holly Dailey, AUSA’s director of Family Readiness.

The partnership provides opportunities for cultivating camaraderie, fosters community connections and educates on the importance of protocol and traditions, Dailey said. It also gives AUSA an opportunity to highlight how the five military spouses who founded Operation Deploy Your Dress “took an idea to help our military families and can now offer an opportunity for our spouse volunteers to build work experience for their resumes,” Dailey said.